A study published Monday by an energy analysis nonprofit suggests that changes in natural gas markets since the Mountain Valley Pipeline was conceived have undercut the economic case for the long-delayed pipeline project.
First announced in 2014, the 42-inch-diameter, 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline is slated to provide up to 2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations to markets in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States, traveling from Northwestern West Virginia to Southern Virginia.
But legal and regulatory challenges have set back the pipeline, which originally was scheduled for completion by the end of 2018 but is now slated for service by the end of 2021. Its price tag has ballooned to at least $5.8 billion, over 50% more than its original cost estimate.
Monday’s analysis by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a nonprofit that supports transitioning to sustainable energy, concludes that lower gas demand and risks to liquefied natural gas exports have lessened the need for the Mountain Valley Pipeline.